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Friday, 11 December 1914

Senator NEEDHAM (Western. Australia) . - Realizing the value of time, it is not my intention to delay the first reading of this Bill. During the past couple of days, Senator Gould has evidently had a violent attack of " cau.cusitis." He has scarcely addressed himself, to any question without referring to the crimes of the Labour party Caucus, notwithstanding that he himself has taken part in Caucus meetings. He has told us that he is obliged to accept just whatever this side of the chamber may choose to give him, and he has implied that the Labour Caucus has determined exactly what hours we shall sit, and upon what days we shall meet. Let me tell him that he is absolutely mistaken. Personally, I would like this Chamber to meet again on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. If a division were taken on the question I should be prepared to vote for assembling on Monday instead of on Tuesday. I realize that there is a desire on the part of honorable senators to bring this session to a speedy determination, but there are many matters of importance that require to be considered, and I think it would be no great inconvenience to honorable senators to ask them to reassemble on Monday. Ministers may say that they are busy men, and I believe that they are overworked at the present time.

Senator Pearce - I was not speaking of the convenience of Ministers, but of honorable senators.

Senator NEEDHAM - I did not say that the Minister spoke of the convenience of Ministers. I said that I believed that Ministers are overworked, and they might naturally desire to rest on Monday from the legislative labours. In order to bring the session to a satisfactory close honorable senators might devote another day to the business. Even if we spent the whole of next week in con- sidering the business to come before us the time would be well spent.

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